Drivers who live an outdoor lifestyle will love the 2021 Toyota 4Runner. A spacious cargo area and supreme off-road capabilities make this SUV perfect for weekend adventures. Furthermore, no other model in the class has a reputation for being more reliable. However, is the new 4Runner worth its above-average MSRP?
What’s New for 2021?
For 2021, Toyota has updated the 4Runner by making LED headlights standard cross the lineup. Meanwhile, revised suspension tuning and more aggressive tires help improve the TRD Pro model’s off-road performance. A limited-production Trail Edition model has also arrived this year.
What Styles Does It Come In?
The 2021 Toyota 4Runner is a midsize SUV that provides room for five people. An optional third row enables a couple more people to squeeze inside. While rear-wheel drive is standard, buyers will also have access to two different 4WD systems.
What Trims Does It Come In?
Toyota offers the 2021 model in seven main trim levels. Even the base 4Runner SR5 provides modern features, like an 8.0-inch touch display with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto phone connectivity. New for 2021 is the 4Runner Trail Edition, which receives a Yakima LoadWarrior cargo basket. Toyota also equips this limited-production trim with a custom cooler to keep drinks and food fresh. Stepping up to the SR5 Premium trims brings navigation and heated front seats.
The TRD Off-Road trim is designed to tackle more challenging terrain. It comes equipped with Toyota’s Crawl Control technology and a locking differential for enhanced traction. While the TRD Off-Road Premium trim is just as capable, there are a few more amenities on the inside. Navigation, heated front seats, and SofTex upholstery help set it apart.
In terms of being able to topple rough landscapes, the 4Runner TRD Pro sits atop the lineup. It comes loaded with a few additional off-road goodies. A more exciting JBL premium sound system and a sunroof are also featured on the TRD Pro trim.
The most luxurious trim is the leather-appointed 4Runner Limited. It boasts features not found on the other trims, including ventilated front seats and dual-zone automatic climate control. Toyota also equips the 4Runner Limited with an adaptive suspension for enhanced ride comfort on the street.
The 4Runner’s Exterior Styling
Although the 4Runner’s styling has gradually evolved on the years, it still has an extremely rugged look. A notch above the base 4Runner is the all-new Trail Edition trim, which features a much more attractive set of 17-inch dark gray wheels wrapped in all-terrain tires. A very appealing Nightshade Edition package is available for the Limited trim. Exclusive 20-inch black alloy wheels and black exterior accents create a very cool look.
The 4Runner’s easy-to-use interior controls enhance its driving experience. Even Toyota’s Entune infotainment system only requires a minimum amount of practice to use. Smartphone pairing is a simple process as well. While the SUV’s standard stereo will keep drivers entertained when running everyday errands, the available JBL premium audio system is worthwhile expense. It features a total of 15 speakers, including a rear subwoofer for deeper bass.
Toyota doesn’t give you any powertrain options. Every new 2021 Toyota 4Runner comes equipped with Toyota’s long-standing 4.0-liter, V6 engine. It propels the SUV with 270 horsepower and 278 lb-ft of torque. Although the 4Runner’s five-speed automatic transmission may be a bit dated, drivers will appreciate its durable design. Testers have clocked the 4Runner with a decent 0-60 mph time of 7.6 seconds.
The new 4Runner delivers a good performance on the street. However, body-on-frame construction leads to truck-like handling. This SUV’s true claim to fame is its excellent off-road prowess. Every trim is capable of venturing down a rural trail.
Unfortunately, the 2021 Toyota 4Runner ranks near the bottom of the segment in fuel efficiency. Drivers can anticipate getting about 16 mpg town/19 mpg highway. On the bright side, regular unleaded gas is the recommended fuel type.
Quality and Comfort
According to owners, the 4Runner’s front seats are comfy on long journeys. Reclining second-row seats also help passengers to kick back. Overall interior quality is a step below most competitors in this price class. Some people describe the 4Runner’s cabin as being on the drab side.
Buyers don’t have to pay extra for Toyota Safety Sense. This collection of accident-avoidance technologies helps drivers to remain aware of potential hazards. Pre-collision warning with pedestrian alert, lane departure warning, and high-speed adaptive cruise control are all included. Parking sensors are found on the range-topping Limited trim.
The 2021 Toyota 4Runner is a true adventure machine. It’s the ultimate SUV for families who plan to go camping and hiking in remote areas. There’s no better time to take the 4Runner for a test drive.
Formula for Calculating Dealer Cost:
Total Dealer Cost - Rebate and Incentive + Taxes / Licensing Fees = True Dealer Cost. (You can get rebates and incentives here)
Note: All Toyota 4Runner MSRP, invoice and dealer cost dollar figures above are approximate amounts. Prices are subject to change without notice.
A note about rebates: Most rebates are subtracted from the "on the road" figure. In most cases, you can have the rebate if you are arranging your own financing or you are paying cash. If you decide to use the manufacturer’s low interest financing, you do not usually get the rebate. Ask your dealer for details.